Whether you use Facebook only occasionally to keep up with friends’ birthdays, sporadically for business-related investigation and due diligence, or daily to guide every aspect of your life, you cannot help but notice pop-up ads clearly targeted directly at you. These ads may suggest accessories for items you previously purchased, subscriptions for publications geared toward your social interests and political ideologies, and even gender- and age-specific products for your family members who have no Facebook account. No matter that you zealously guard your privacy, you are likely to be surprised how many apps you have used (or not) and websites you have visited (or not) that interact with Facebook and share your information. You may be more surprised at the number of wholly unknown apps and companies providing your data to and gathering your data from Facebook. Even an infrequent Facebook user easily may have over 500 businesses, services, individuals and organizations monitoring and exchanging his or her personal information with the social network.
Suzana Dalul at Android Authority has written an article summarizing this “Off-Facebook Activity,” advising how to determine who has been tracking you, and outlining steps you can take to limit this data sharing. If you or a family member has or is contemplating creating a Facebook account, this article may be worth a read.